London - The Financial Times (FT) plans to cut a net total
of around 25 jobs as part of a plan to restructure the group to cut costs and
focus primarily on its digital services, its editor has said.
In an email sent to staff and seen by Reuters, Lionel Barber
said he would embark on a programme to "reshape the FT for the digital
age". He gave no detail on where jobs would go from the FT's 600 total
"We need to ensure that we are serving a digital
platform first, and a newspaper second," Barber said in the email sent on
Monday. "This is a big cultural shift for the FT that is only likely to be
achieved with further structural change."
The famous pink-paged newspaper has been one of the most
successful titles in the move online, charging people to read its news on a
metered model that allows people to read a set number of articles each month
before having to pay a fee.
That approach has helped boost digital subscriptions, which
exceeded print circulation for the first time in the first half of 2012.
"I am determined that we do everything we can to secure
the FT's future as a world class, financially sustainable news
organisation," Barber said.
"Our earlier decisions to raise prices, charge for
content and build a subscription business have proven to be bold and wise.
"While many of our rivals have struggled to find a
profitable business model, and have therefore announced heavy job losses, we
have been industry pioneers. This is not the moment to falter."
Barber said the proposed voluntary redundancy programme
would reduce costs by £1.6m in the current year. He estimated it could result
in a net headcount reduction of about 25 people, or around 4% of the total,
after the introduction of 10 more digital jobs.
The group said it would consult with the National Union of
Journalists as to what steps it would take if it does not achieve the right
level of take-up for the planned scheme.
The restructuring of the paper follows months of speculation
as to whether parent Pearson, the media and education group, will sell the
title as it increases its focus on education and away from assets reliant on
Pearson has denied the paper is up for sale.